I thought it curious and moving that Martin, a retardate, should have this great passion for Bach. Bach seemed so intellectual - and Martin was a simpleton. What I did not realise, until I started bringing in cassettes of the cantatas, and once of the Magnificat, when I visited, was that for all his intellectual limitations Martin's musical intelligence was fully up to appreciating much of the technical complexity of Bach; but, more than this - that it wasn't a question of intelligence at all. Bach lived for him, and he lived in Bach.
Martin did, indeed, have 'freak' musical abilities - but they were only freak - like if removed from their right and natural context.
What was central to Martin, as it had been central for his father, and what had been intimately shared between them, was always the spirit of music, especially religious music, and of the voice as the divine instrument made and ordained to sing, to raise itself in jubilation and praise.

Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales, 1985

@темы: baroque, music, psychology, s, sacks, oliver